Meet TBB’s Nutritionist: Kelly Leveque!
ITTTTT’S FRIDAY! I am usually not so overexcited about Fridays because nearly all days of the week are the same for me with my funky schedule, but sometimes it’s fun to get kinda pumped up about Fridays like the rest of the world does. So, YAY for Friday!
Plus, I’m extra pumped for today because I am spending the day with my dear Kelly LeVeque, who happens to be my friend, running buddy (LA Marathon training partner in crime!), my neighbor AND my nutritionist all rolled into one.
Someone asked Kelly & me the other night at our running team practice how long we’d known each other, and we both kind of said, “Uh, two years, one year, three years? A few years? Not sure, it feels like forever!”
It really does feel like this girl has been in my life for far longer than she has, because she has had such an impact on me, she has taught me SO MUCH about science/my body/balancing my blood sugar and metabolism, and we kind of sort of have all the same goals in life and know way too many of the same people.
It was truly only a matter of time before Kelly made her way into my life, and I am SO GLAD that she did. I thought it would be fun to give you guys a glimpse into who I turn to when I need an extra kick to stay on the healthy train and when I’ve needed reassurance and guidance throughout my recovery process.
If you live in LA, I HIGHLY recommend her services. She even just traveled to Maui to speak at a wellness event there… she’s badass, what can I say?
Also, I think everyone needs someone in their life who can say, “Should we run the LA Marathon this year even though it scares the sh*t out of us? HELL YEAH WE SHOULD.”
Thanks Kelly for being that person for me and so much more.
Q&A with my gal below!
Q: Kelly! Tell us your full name & business title, for those of us who don’t yet know ya.
A: Be Well by Kelly – Kelly LeVeque
Q: I am consistently inspired by women who follow their hearts, pursue their passions and live a life that they love. YOU are one of those people. What inspired you to become a nutritionist and wellness coach?
A: I fell in love with Health and Nutrition at a young age, my friends and family have leaned on me for nutrition support for as long as I can remember. From health magazines in junior high to pubmed studies in college, my love for biology has never been satiated. My favorite class at USC was nature of human health and disease and had I listened to my heart then I would have started Be Well right out of college. However, I spent the early part of my career in the medical field, specifically in cancer and genetics. Finally hitting my breaking point with the disease epidemic, constant misinformation and just straight “I love this and I want to help people” passion I went back to school and I took my hobby full time. I haven’t looked back, moved full force in the direction of my dreams and feel so blessed to touch the lives that I do.
Q: What is your favorite aspect of what you do?
A: My clients, they truly are a gift to me daily. I empathize with them, empower them and rejoice with them when they hit goals. It isn’t about me, its about them. when they lean in and learn with me, the biology always sets them free.
Q: You’ve taught me so much about regulating my blood sugar (thank you!). What are your top tips for my readers about stabilizing blood sugar?
A: I love science! Balancing blood sugar with healthy fat, wild protein and fiber rich vegetables will have you eating less overall, feeling relaxed around food and keep you in a muscle sparing fat burning space. Honestly, the best part of blood sugar balance is you stop obsessing over food. Food freedom through biology is my goal and a measly bar or calorie conscious breakfast isn’t going to get you where you need to go in the long run. Start your day with a #bewellsmoothie or four egg veggie omelet with avocado, feel satiated and go into lunch balanced.
Q: Biggest nutrition pet peeve? (I.e. “Fat is so bad for you!” or something like that.)
A: Such a good question! I can’t decide if “fat fear” or a “bad smoothie” is worse. Fat increases insulin sensitivity, increases brain activity, gives your body the precursors for hormones that keep you skinny, hydrates the skin and keeps you happy. I probably eat 6-8 tbsp of healthy fat daily. The good news is my clients are no longer fearful of fat. Its harder for me when a really skinny girl posts a bikini pic with her smoothie…….ingredients “coconut water, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, 2 dates and a banana” – she is genetically skinny folks, for the rest of us, we might as well add rum. I just feel a visceral need to stand up for the ladies out there trying so hard to feel strong and lean. Sadly, 100% of that fructose is metabolized in the liver and turns to fat 20-30x faster than glucose.
Q: If you could say one thing to a person struggling from an eating disorder but doesn’t know where to begin recovery, what would it be?
A: Tell someone. Ask for help. You aren’t alone. Eating disorders are a control mechanism. Everyone is controlling something in their life in some way. You have chosen food, lets break down the self inflicted rules and work through the “why”? Then, let’s let the science set you free. We can sit down and talk about kombucha, fruit, red meat and all the controversial and fad foods….I can break down the “good” and “bad” for it all. When you see both sides of the story there are no longer rules; just intuition, feelings and really living life.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: I love food. I basically just want to know the science so I can eat whatever I want. My last meal would be a buffet… Bandera BBQ Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Salad and Slaw… M Cafe Salmon Salad with Peanut Kale and Slaw (I love slaw)…
( FOR THE RECORD, I (TBB) AM OBSESSED WITH BANDERA SALMON TOO! OBSESSED. )
Q: Favorite indulgence?
A: Homemade snicker doodle ice cream sandwich….enough said. Gluten free cookies, full fat creamy wonderland.
Q: Top 3 pantry/refrigerator “must have” items!
A: Coconut Oil, for coffee, freezer fudge and roasted veggies like carrot fries. Cans of Wild Salmon for a quick protein bite and walnuts, I can whip up a divine walnut butter that tastes like cookie dough.
Q: What’s in your gym bag?
A: I need to get a gym bag. My trunk however is a real mess; yoga mats, kettlebells, tennis shoes, Trader Joes nut packs and old water bottles. Don’t ask me to think ahead, I am a real fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl and you can absolutely be healthy on the fly.
Q: How important is a consistent fitness routine on top of eating well when it comes to overall health?
A: Muscle mass dictates metabolism, it helps control blood sugar and working out helps you deal with stress naturally creating happy endorphins. I encourage my clients to stay consistent more to avoid the binge & cleanse cycles that happen when we feel out of control and out of shape. When we workout we sustain clean eating results and maintain progress. A clean diet can only take you so far, working out keeps the scale at your achieved goal.
Q: Tell us what the BE WELL principles are!
A: Transforming our mindset, nutrition and body is a journey, you must enjoy it and love on yourself. Don’t count calories. Eat whole foods that induce satiety like mineral dense protein, healthy fat and fibrous vegetables. You are human, focus on balance not perfection. Balance is found with intentional movement to eat clean, sweat and even enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Accept who you are, love who you are and build a lifestyle focused on health, not some abstract idea of “perfection.” Punishing yourself for “failing” is unhealthy, unproductive and breeds disappointment. Instead, set realistic goals, make them habit and enjoy the heck out of your balanced life!
Well, there you have it, folks! SO MUCH wisdom and so many great tips from the fabulous Kelly LeVeque. I work with her often and even I just learned a ton from reading through this interview. Everyone do yourselves a favor and check out this babe’s work. Also, who’s a fan of me doing more partnership posts with Kelly?! I know that this info is SO USEFUL and I want all of you to have access to it. Kelly, thanks for kicking ass, GF. Can’t wait to get into marathon shape with you… EEK!